Sunday, May 31, 2009

They've Come Back!

I have three things worth mentioning in this post.

Firstly, I achieved my challenge… Impressive, I know. I actually made the cards I set out to make, and they were great. The scans turned out just awful, and I re-did it numerous times. I don't know why it looks so gross, if it's any consolation, it real-life, it looks pretty good. So here's my Mum's Mother's Day card. Better late than never!

Birthday card for a friend. Again, the scan is just DREADFUL.

My cousin just had a breast reduction, and that needs to be recognized! She's so grateful to have had it done! I haven't decided what to write on the inside yet, maybe something as simple as "nice rack".
I also scrapped a travel mug for my Mum, with the kid’s pictures. This will be part of her Mother's Day gift. Nothing makes an Ama more delighted than being able to carry her little people with her, along with a cup of hot coffee!

I made of list of scrapbook related project I want to get done. Projects I’m in the middle of, projects I've stalled on, projects I've dropped the ball on, projects that I’m behind on. And one of my bff’s said to me “Why are you stressing about this stuff” and she’s right (thanks you…) so; I’m giving it the “whatever”, attitude. This is something I do simply for the joy of doing it. Why get all worked up about it. I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. Since I’m a “scrapper”, I feel like I need to document everything. I find it really hard to draw the line. For example, today we went to Calaway Park and I didn’t bring my camera. I agonized, and hesitated and labored over the decision not to, and in the end, left it at home. I thought, I just want to go, and have fun and not have to worry about the camera the whole time. As it turned out, we spent the ENTIRE day there, which is not what we’d set out to do. Just around the time we were thinking about heading out, we ran into some friends there with their kids. Mason was so pleased to be going on rides with a friend his own age. He even went on the B I G roller coaster… Yikes. I wasn’t too thrilled; the Mum in me came out in full-fret. At first I thought about all the great shots I was missing. Mason and his friend in line, waiting to get on the rides. The looks on their faces on the ride called "Octopus" (enough said) even a few times the both of them holding hands as they ran to the next line up. So sweet, so innocent, and not captured. (Too bad those days are coming to an end). I did miss catching any of that, but it was ok. (Of course, the pictures would have been great). As we emerged from the log ride, like a pack of drowned rats, the reality that having a camera with me would have been A LOT more stressful at that particular juncture.
My last bit of exciting news is our owl friends are back. We’ve been in our house now for 4 years, and each spring a Momma Great Horned Owl has brought her owlets to our neighborhood, where she teaches them to fly and hunt. It is such a marvel to see, we’re so lucky to have them in our back yard. As we're nearing the end of May, I was terribly disappointed, as we'd seen no sign of the owls. As only a mother does, I thought the worst. Perhaps something had happened, maybe Momma owl had been killed, or poisoned, or found a better place to nest... And that very night, they were back. This year she has 3 owlets that I’ve seen, and one of my neighbors said there was a 4th. The ruckus they cause, starts at dusk, and lasts through the night. There is screeching, shrieking, and ‘whoooooo-ing’. They don’t seem scared of us in the least; they just go about their business. The birds in the area (robins, blue jays, crows, etc) get very agitated, and we’ve seen some carnage over the years, (that's right, a rabbit foot, with the leg still attached, picked up my my then-preschooler, 2 years ago) But I say, it's a small price to pay to have 4-5 great horned owls flying around our neighborhood all summer long. Not to mention that we live in the middle of the city! It’s totally awesome! Last year I got some phenomenal shots of the Momma owl. The little ones were harder to capture, they only came out when it was dark. But this year, I have my camera at the ready, waiting for the perfect opportunity. It didn't take long, because we were awakened at 5:30 am, on Friday morning, I got out of bed and looked out my window and saw this…

Is that fantastic or what? It's owlet A and B. They looked right at me, when I drew the blind. In my 2nd floor, we could almost see eye to eye. This was a pretty good shot, because it was getting light, so the picture didn't turn out too blurry. Last years pictures were all blurry, because they come out so late.

This is Owlet C. It's trying to learn to properly land in a tree with that great big wing span. It really was struggling to try and get its wings tucked in. And finally...

Momma owl. She's never too far away. And I'm sure the look in her eyes is one that says "Gee whiz, these kids drive me CRAZY..." Especially as she was watching the one stuck in the tree.
It's Sunday evening, we're home from Calaway Park and:
1) My kids are tucked safely in their beds.
2) The owls are back again, keeping us awake at night.
3)I've crossed off a few things on my scrapbook 'to do' list.
All is well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Power Reading

Seriously, I've read 2 books since last Tuesday. I honestly don't recall a time that has happened since before kids came along, WELL before they came along. They weren't books about rocket science or anything, but they were good fictional, escape from the "real world" stories, just the same.

I've had books on my nightstand for months... Maybe even years, that I haven't gotten around to reading yet. Then, during last weeks trip to the library, I picked up two books and read them right away. I read Something Blue by Emily Griffin, which was super fluffy, but entertaining just the same. As I was leaving the library, I spied, Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. So I picked that little gem up and read it too! A lot of people read the book first, before seeing the movie. So when the movie came out they were very disappointed with the cast chosen... For me, the opposite was true, I pictured our leading characters right away. Now, I don't want to give away anything, and I'm sure most of you know this. It's a story about vampires... Seriously, no guff. And I have to be honest and say, that when I finally fell into my fit full sleep last night, I did indeed dream about vampires all night long... Crummy. I'm hoping tonight I'll fair a bit better. I mean, logic says vampires are totally fictional... Or are they? There are no such thing as vampires... Or are there? If there were, they could TOTALLY resist humans... Or could they? There I go again, I'd better not go and get myself all worked up again before bedtime. I won't do well on two sleepless nights.

While I'm on the topic of books, I also read another great book this month called Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center. It was a great book, and I highly recommend it to all my Mum friends. It was about a Mum, who'd had 3 children in fairly quick succession and was agonizing about where her life was headed. Throughout this book I frequently had tears running down my face. Some of it hit pretty close to home.

And speaking of hitting close to home. I'm trying to figure out whether Jon&Kate plus Eight, are really going through martial problems, or if this is a publicity type of thing, aimed to get people back to watching the show... Surely they'd both be smart enough to know the whole world is watching them. Reality TV is dreadful. I bounced between that show and the Bachelorette last night. Such crap. Looks like there won't be much TV watching around here until September. Hey, I just thought of something... All the more time for reading! Yay for me!

Or I could spend my quiet time in my 'studio'. Which equates to my scrapbook room of course, but I think 'studio' has a real flair to it. But since our weekend in Radium, I've had a hard time even looking in there. In fact, if the truth be told... I haven't even done my Mum's Mother's Day card and little giftee yet. (Sorry Mum) I keep going to my 'studio' with great intentions, only to be drawn away by something else completely insignificant. But let's see... If I do it by the wknd, it'll still kind of count, because we're still in May! Yeah, that's it, I'll do it by the weekend. I might even post it on my blog, to prove it! Aha! That's it! A CHALLENGE, that usually gets me going! There, I'm challenging myself to get it done by this weekend and post it on my blog! Stay tuned!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Take on the Weekend

Look at me, it's like I'm a Photo Shop Elements guru.... NOT. Happily, I don't seem to spend as much time being confused, like I did at the start. No, that's not true. I'm still finding it terribly confusing. But I'm trying to persevere and push through the confusion!

This past weekend I did something kind of different and fun, I followed Ali Edwards Creative weekend challenge. This was to document 2 days in our life, the weekend. I decided to do it over 3 days, as Monday was a Canadian holiday, Victoria Day. Last fall, I documented a week in our life, so doing just the weekend was kind of a fun treat. My family and friends all cooperated, and are all quite patient with me. The poor kids know their Mum is crazy. So following them around with the camera for a couple of days, doesn't surprise them at all.

I need to go through the pictures now, and there are quite a few. I took about 150 photos over 3 days. I'm still trying to figure out how I'll put this all together. I think I'll buy a little cheapie album from Walmart, and document it that way. I'll be able to put in pictures, do a bit of journaling and embellishing. I know that looking at the album I did in October, is really neat to go back and look at a snapshot of our 'every day'. To document things that are so ordinary, and that don't seem to stand out. In a few years of course, it will be a sweet reminder of exactly what life was like with a 4 and nearly 7 year old!

So, now I'm off to send pictures into Costco to be developed!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekend Challenge

I'm the type of gal, who really thrives on a challenge. Especially a scrapbook one, so check this out. I'm going to attempt to do this challenge. Haven't decided whether I'll blog it, or do up a little mini album; perhaps I'll do both.
A friend of mine has also challenged me to something 'exercise' related. I'm going to get on my treadmill, for 7 days in a row. And the beauty of it is, I only have to do it for 10 mins at a time. What does that mean? Well, it means it's totally manageable. I won't get all sweaty, a shower most likely will not be involved, and I can fit it in any time of day. I'll start that on Monday. Like I said, I like a challenge! I'm still diligently doing the WW thing, and I've lost 13.something pounds. I've come to the realization that if I added exercise, I'm sure I'd see better results... But for some reason, I just loathe the idea. So, I'll start with a challenge, and go from there!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

On My Own

My-oh-my, I’m parenting on my own this week. I don’t know how single parents do it. I chuckle when I see TV shows about women who are ready to become a mother, and decide to go ahead and do it on their own. Or the single starlets who actually ARE doing it on their own. I can only assume that they have the money and the help of nannies to enable them to cope with the demanding, never ending job of parenting, 24/7. I can’t help but wonder if they ever finally become a mother and think… “Good grief, what have I done?”

Barry is having his annual boy’s golf week. It went from the usual 5 days (Thursday through Monday) and got super-sized to 8 days. He left last Saturday, and is arriving home this Sunday. (Evening) He tried to pull the ‘it’s a couple days of travel’ card, but I’m afraid I don’t buy it. That’s fine when you’re heading over seas, but when the other spouse is at home parenting on their own, a day is a day, I don’t care if there’s travel involved or not! ;-) And of course, his day of travel consists of flying to Phoenix, AZ; not driving somewhere closer. I can’t say I blame him, we’re now smack dab into May, and THIS is what our backyard looks like.

Not a lot of draw to want to spend time outside, that’s for sure. Why wouldn’t a person want to go somewhere warm? Perhaps you’re thinking, well the grass is brown, there are no leaves, it looks terribly dirty and desolate, but is it warm? The answer is no. It is not warm. We still have the arctic wind howling around us. Maybe it’ll warm up in June. Soccer has begun, and poor Mason is dressed up with multiple layers, as if it were December.

Any way, I’ve managed to parent my children, on my own, for an entire week. And everyone is living to tell about it. To be honest, the time has gone by much faster than I anticipated. Once you just say to yourself, “Ok – for the next 8 nights, I’m putting these kids to bed by myself…” it suddenly becomes OK. Because there is simply no other alternative. When the alarm goes off each morning, I have no choice but to bounce out of bed, and get our morning started. It’s funny, because in the 8 months that we’ve had to get up and get Mason off to school, Barry has never rolled over and said, “Go back to sleep, I’ll take care of getting him dressed, eating breakfast, making lunch, packing his back-pack and ensuring that he gets to the bus this morning. (Though there have been a couple of sick days in there that he did indeed let me sleep in and vice versa for him). But every morning I play that particular scenario through my head, when I hear the alarm go off (IF I hear the alarm go off…) And, like I mentioned the only time it’s actually come to fruition, is when I’ve had a sinus infection or fever. But still, there IS always a chance it could happen. But with Barry not here, obviously it wasn't going to happen this week.

And my house has stayed tidier. I slyly mentioned that to him on the phone one night, and his response was “I could say the same thing” To which I thought, Yeah…right. The dishes go into the dishwasher after they've been used. Jackets are being hung up in the closet, and shoes put away! Aside from the kids, no extra laundry to do! It's been quite manageable.

However, having said all of the above, it's been ok because there’s been an end in sight. I know that as of Sunday night, I won't be doing it all by myself any longer. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do so great, if it were a permanent situation.

It’s Saturday, it’s been one week exactly, since he left. Tonight we’ll watch a movie and make popcorn and go to bed. Tomorrow we’ll do something to keep us busy until it’s time to head to the airport. I’m looking forward to having him back. Here's a few pics of our past week.

Drawing birds on their Star Wars white boards.

Little bit of dress-up in the morning while Mason's at school, let me introduce Bat Girl.

Playdoh - what more can I say? This can capture the imagination for hours at a time.

Nintendo DS - A bit of a novelty, because it's here on a visit ONLY.

Grade One Celebration. We got to see a lot of Mason's work, it was truly amazing, we are so very proud of him!

Love these two... They completely fill my heart.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Little Birthday Girl

My baby turned 4. There was a time that I quite smartly said, “I have a 1 and 4 year old”. Now my youngest, my little baby, is the one turning 4. It’s bitter sweet of course. There are so many things she can do on her own (IF she chooses to do it on her own that is). We’re at such a great place. We don’t need to bring anything with us when we go out, except perhaps for our ‘restaurant bag’ filled with paper, crayons and coloring books. I don’t need to bother with bottles, baby food, cheerios, diapers, bibs, or a change of clothes, that’s all a thing of the past. The VERY distant past in fact.

I’m relieved, yet at the same time incredibly melancholy about it. When I was a young girl, we used to get the Consumer’s Distributing Catalogue, (indeed I dated myself there) I used to sit and look through that catalogue for hours at a time. It was similar to Sears in that you picked out items and ordered them at the store. I used to look through the kids stuff, and pick out the cribs I’d buy. I imagined the change table, high chair and baby swing I would have. Bottle warmers, bath tubs, kid’s toys… As a young girl, I LOVED to look through that stuff. Even now, when the Baby days sale flyer's come out, I can’t stop myself from checking out the new strollers, car seats, baby jungle gyms. It’s just what I do. I had no idea, how fleeting all that stuff would be, in the whole scheme of things. I suppose it’s a little bit similar to morning sickness. When you have it, it feels like you won’t survive another day, but the moment it’s gone, I could be heard saying “It wasn’t that bad…” Crikey, how short the memory is.

When Mason was a baby, nearly 7 years ago, we bought some really cool things. Brand new matching Evenflo stroller and bucket seat (and as a matter of fact, we do still use the stroller on occasion) We bought that years ‘must haves’ the baby Bjorn carrier was one. Not for the faint of heart… That little number set you back about $140. We proudly carried both our infants in those, but not long enough. They really only last you a year, if you’re lucky. They hold up to 25 lbs, so lucky little Madelyn got hauled around in it a bit longer than her brother. But then they start walking, and you sadly put the baby Bjorn away.

Now you can get all types of slings, and I’m intrigued by them. How does do they work? Are they comfortable? Does baby like it? These little gems have now become the crème-de-la crème of 2009. In only 7 years, all the ‘it’ stuff has become passé. And I’ll miss out on all the new trends, and I just feel sad about it.

I can just see the day my kids have their own kids, and I greet them with my baby Bjorn carrier(because OF COURSE I haven't got rid of it) “Here, try this, baby will love it”. Oh Mum… they’ll say exasperated, eyes rolling into the back of their heads.

Now that nearly all my baby stuff is gone, I’m in mourning. I don't suppose I happened to mention that my now 4 YEAR OLD daughter is still in her crib? Before you call protective services, we did get a bed; we just need to pick up a mattress for it. Apparently a double isn’t as easy as going into Sleep Country and saying ‘that one”. We need to special order it. Who knew? Guaranteed, she’ll be in her bed by the end of summer. LOL. Imagine my post when the crib is gone from our lives. I might need to be sedated...

I’m hoping to hold onto babyhood for one more year, by purchasing her one last pair of Robeez. Keep your fingers crossed that I can get a pair big enough. I'll even let her pick out the design!

So the birthday girl is now 4. She had a great day, with her friends.

She's wearing a little frock that used to belong to me!

Believe it or not, both girls were born on the same day, and the little boy is only 6 wks older! Yes, he actually is THAT tall!